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 The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?

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PostSubject: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:23 pm

As suggested by cactus flower a thread on the Congo crisis. This is all I have time for today. Hope to add more and read the views/corrections/additions of others in the next week or so.

1908- The Congo became a Belgian colony. Prior to that it had been the personal property of King Leopold II of Belgium run since 1885 through a dummy corporation of which he was chairman and sole shareholder. The purpose of this was the rape of the country’s natural resources. Sir Roger Casement as British Consul in Leopoldville investigated human rights abuses in the Congo in 1904.

1955- Prof A J Van Bilsen published a treatise called Thirty Year Plan for the Political Emancipation of Belgian Africa. Belgium had been called on for some years now to free the Congo under Article 73 of the UN Charter.

1959- Riots in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa)in January. Joseph Kasa Vubu arrested. Further rioting in Stanleyville in October leading to the arrest of Joseph Lumumba.

1960- Faced with increasing instability in the country, a conference was convened in Brussels involving all the Congolese parties. The Belgians wished to avoid the same problems as France was facig in Algeria at this time. Lumumba was released from prison to attend. The Belgians conceded independence but wanted a 3 to 4 year lead in period. The Congolese demanded immediate independence and elections were scheduled for May.

May 1960- Elections. Lumumba’s MNC-L Party won a quarter of the seats nationally, followed by the PNP (The Parti National du Progrès). The PNP was supported by the Belgians. These were the only two parties to fight elections in more than one province. The others were organised on tribal lines and gained some power in their own provincesas follows;

Leopoldville- Parti Solidaire Africain (PSA led by Antoine Gizenga).
Kasa-Vubu’s ABAKO (Association de Bakongo) was runner up by a narrow margin.

Katanga- Confédération des Associations Tribales de Katanga (CONAKAT led by Moishe Tshombe) defeated Jason Sendwe’s Association Générale des Baluba de Katanga (BALUBAKAT)

Kivu- Centre de Regroupement Africain (CEREA led by Anicet Kashamura) defeated Lumumba’s MNC-L

Kasai- MNC-L and MNC-K were neck and neck with MNC-L winning the support of UNC and COAKA (Coalition Kasaienne)

Eastern Province- MNC-L won a clear majority defeating PNP.

Equator Province- PUNA (Jean Bolikango) and UNIMO ( Justin Bomboko) shared a narrow victory.

In the national parliament, Lumumba formed a coalition of MNC-L, UNC and COAKA (Kasaï), CEREA (Kivu), PSA (Léopoldville) and BALUBAKAT (Katanga). In opposition were PNP, MNC-K (Kasaï), ABAKO (Léopoldville), CONAKAT (Katanga), PUNA and UNIMO (Equator) and RECO (Kivu).

24 June 1960- In a deal to form a government Joseph Kasa-Vubu was elected President and Patrice Lumumba elected Prime Minister.

30 June 1960- The Republic of the Congo becomes an independent country. King Baudouin of Belgium arrives in the country to formally hand over power. The entire thing became a PR disaster.

5 July 1960- Army mutiny in Leopoldville. The army was still officered by Belgians because there were no qualified Congolese. This caused resentment amongst the rank and file, not helped by the fact that their GOC, Lieutenant General Émile Janssens, was a neo-fascist. To add to their woes the government gave everybody in the public service a pay rise- except for the army. The soldiers mutinied and attacked their officers and any European they came across. Thousands of refugees fled to Brazzaville and Stanleyville. The Belgians sent their army in to protect the refugees which the Congolese said was a violation of their sovereignty. To quell the army, everybody was promoted by one rank. But now they had nobody in command.

11 July 1960- The Province of Katanga seceded from the country under Moishe Tshombe. Tshombe was backed in this secession by Belgian businessmen, 6,000 Belgian troops and white mercenaries hired by his government. Among the mercenaries was 4 Commando, commanded by Dubliner Mike Hoare. The stated reason for secession was to escape the chaos in the rest of the country but the real reason was that Katanga was the location of most of the Congo’s mineral wealth in copper, cobalt and uranium (which was used in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs).

14 July 1960- The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 143 demanding the withdrawal of Belgian troops and calling for UN military support for the Congolese Army. Amongst those requested to provide that support was Ireland. Backed by the UN Lumumba demanded the immediate removal of Belgian forces and threatened to seek assistance from the Soviet Union if they did not leave.

15 July 1960- 1200 UN troops had arrived in the country. Within a month they would number 14,000 from 24 countries. They only add to Congo’s problems because they have no firm mandate. Lumumba assumes that they are to be used to invade and subdue Katanga. The UN Secretary General Dag Hamerskjold, refuses t allow this since the secession of Katanga is an internal Congolese matter and UN intervention is forbidden under Article 2 of the UN Charter.

19 July 1960- Dáil Éireann passes the Defence Amendment No 2 Act 1960, to allow armed Irish troops serve overseas.

22 July 1960- The UN SC adopts Resolution 145 affirming that Congo should be a unitary state and again calling for Belgium to withdraw its forces.

27 July 1960- 32nd Irish Battalion departed Baldonnel Aerodrome for the Congo. The United States Air Force provided the transport. The poor soldiers were sent off to equatorial Africa in the same wool uniforms that saw them through Irish winters.

8 August 1960- South Kasai seceded from the Congo calling itself, the Mining State of South Kasai with Albert Kalonji as President and Joseph Ngalula as PM. The capital was Bakwanga. South Kasai is rich in diammonds by the way. Lamumba requested assistance from the USSR who provided aircraft to airlift troops into Kasai. In a bloody campaign thousands died and quarter of a million refugees fled the area.

9 August 1960- The UN SC adopts Resolution 146 which allowed UN forces to enter Katanga whilst forbidding their use to intervene in or influence the outcome of any internal conflict.

5 September 1960- President Kasa-Vubu sacked Lumumba on state radio. Lumumba responded by sacking the President. Kasa-Vubu appointed Joseph Ileo as PM but parliament supported Lumumba. The UN closed down the airports it controlled as well as the radio station. This at least halted the movement of troops to South Kasai.

12 September 1960- The forces of Joseph Mobutu (who the US was now backing following Lumumba’s cosying up to the Soviets) placed Lumumba under house arrest. He was quickly freed by the army.

14 Sept 1960- Joseph Mobutu (with CIA assistance)seized power in a military coup. Parliament and the constitution were suspended and Lumumba placed under house arrest with UN protection. All Soviet advisors were expelled. In response Vice PM Antoine Gizenga formed a pro-Lumumba government in Stanleyville. The Congo had now split into 4 regimes- Mobutu in the west, Gizenga in the east, Tshombe in Katanga and Kalonji in Kasai.

3 October 1960- CS Felix Grant from Clonmel becomes the first soldier of the Irish army to die on overseas service.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:41 am

I posted a video dealing with this elsewhere some time ago. My understanding is the UN subdued Katanga with great slaughter. That Irish slug who I am waiting to kick the bucket had a big role to play
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:18 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo

Thank you Lestat - that's very informative. I've posted the Wiki link, which is good for maps. Heart of Darkness that I think 905 was talking about was set in the Congo / Zaire. To encapsulate the Leopold business, ( I've read a bit about in Casement's diaries, in the Wiki and in "State of Africa") Leopold drove a railway into the country to extract rubber and in a fifteen year period from 1895 half the population of the territory died. Cutting arms and legs off (aduts and children) to make people work was the main thing the good King's regime is remembered for. He became immensely rich and many people got rubber tyres.
There was also a terrible war there in the late 20th century with millions killed.
Being rich in natural resources seems to have drawn every bastard down on them.

I remember youngdan posting a video - does anyone know which thread so it can be linked?
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:19 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Cutting arms and legs off (aduts and children) to make people work was the main thing the good King's regime is remembered for.
They still do that in Angola, with the emphasis on children. It's for blood diamonds there.

All this recent talk of Ireland's peace-keeping reminds me of a book I read about the Irish in the Congo in he sixties. Even then the region was packed with French and Belgian mercenaries causing all sorts of mayhem.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:01 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:48 pm

cactus flower wrote:
There was also a terrible war there in the late 20th century with millions killed.

It's still simmering away unfortunately (or was until a few months ago, courtesy mainly of a gentleman named Laurent Nkunda.

Quote :
Nkunda also operates under the name Laurent Nkunda Batware or Nkundabatware. He is an indigenous Tutsi who was born in the Congo on Feb 2nd 1967 and he is a former psychology student. During the Rwanda genocide he joined the Rwanda Patriotic Front fighting the Hutu-dominated Rwandan Armed Forces.
Following victory in Rwanda, Nkunda returned to the Congo where he fought alongside the Laurent and Joseph Kabila in the First Congo War which overthrew the regime of President Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997. During the fighting the forces under Kabila’s command were accused of massacring 60,000 civilians. Following the fall of Mobutu, Laurent Kabila installed himself as President of the newly named Democratic Republic of the Congo and decided to divest himself of his erstwhile Rwandan and Ugandan Tutsi allies. The foreign military was ordered out of the DRC, a move which deeply disturbed the Banyamulenge-the indigenous Tutsi of Eastern DRC of which Laurent Nkunda is one. Rwanda began to foment rebellion in the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu in 1998 using the ethnic Tutsis and their new group the Rally for Congolese Democracy. Kabila egged on ethnic Hutus in the region to combat the rebels who were supported by Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia and Chad. So the Second Congo War began which rumbled on until 2003 and killed an estimated 3.6 million people.
Nkunda was a Major in the RCD and he participated in much of the fighting. Mary Robinson called for his arrest when he was accused of massacring 160 civilians in Kisangani and abducting and beating up two UN investigators. All to no avail. In 2003, as part of the truce agreement ending the war, Nkunda was appointed a Colonel in the Army of the DRC and promoted General in 2004. His rehabilitation didn’t last and Nkunda broke away from the army with his troops and moved to North Kivu. By 2005 he commanded 3,000 men and was calling for the overthrow of the government. Last year he began a number of assaults on government forces including a major offensive in North Kivu in November 2006 which was defeated with the help of UN forces. MONUC incidentally has refused to execute an international arrest warrant on Nkunda, probably because they would ignite a major battle.
This year the government attemptd to negotiate Nkunda back into the army. While negotiations were still under way they placed more troops under his command. When the negotiations fell through the troops stayed loyal to Nkunda and the UN estimates he controls about 5 brigades. Fighting between Nkunda;s army and Hutus in North Kivu has dispalced 160,000 people with another 250,000 refugees anticipated within 6 months. In September Nkunda laid siege to the government forces in the town of Masisi which had to be relieved and reinforced by UN helicopters. His forces also raided 14 schools in the area and abducted the children for use as soldiers and sex slaves. At present the army of the DRC is attempting to disarm Nkunda’s army by force, with fighting taking place around Kichanga.

There are several other warlords like this some of whom have been absorbed into the Congolese Army as part of a peace process. Not sure what Nkunda's current status is.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:21 am

The Congo Crisis continued...



27 October 1960- Col Justin McCarthy died in the Congo. At this stage there are approximately 1500 Irish troops in two battalions (32nd and 33rd) in the country. That figure comprised over 20% of the Irish regular DF.



8 November 1960- 9 Irish soldiers are killed by Baluba tribesman at Niemba. They are; Lt Kevin Gleeson, Sgt Hugh Gaynor, Cpl Liam Duggan, Cpl Peter Kelly, Pte Matthew Farrell, Tpr Anthony Browne, Tpr Thomas Fennell, Pte Michael McGuinn and Pte Gerard Killeen. Below is an interview with one of the survivors that was printed ina newspaper. Not sure which one though.



Quote :
On 8th November 1960 a Platoon of Irish UN Troops set out on what should have been a normal Patrol, nine of them died at the hands of the Balubas. Two of the Platoon survived to tell the story of the ambush. They were Trooper Thomas Kenny and Private Joe Fitzpatrick.

I think I could give no more graphic description of the ambush than to quote in full, the interview which Private Fitzpatrick give when in hospital in Albertville. In the same ward in the bed beside Fitzpatrick lay the other survivor Thomas Kenny.

"We were on a routine patrol. It was normal to go down the road leading south from Niemba and find a roadblock that had to be cleared.

Balubas were always doing this and we used to curse them almost good-naturedly while, in the hot sun, pulling down their handiwork - usually heavy logs piled across the road.

But this time they had done a more thorough job. They had pulled to pieces a wooden bridge across a small river, and it was taking us a lot more time than usual to put it right.

We had noticed lately that the parties of Baluba we met were getting more sullen and hostile. We never had more trouble than an odd arrow shot our way and we had always managed to bring about a peaceful end to our meetings with them.

So we were not at all expecting what happened this time. There we were, working away at that bridge with our Platoon Commander, Lt. Kevin Gleeson, and Sergt. Gaynor supervising, when someone called out there were Balubas coming down the road behind us. I looked up and there were about a hundred of them carrying bows and arrows, spears, panga knives and clubs.

Lt.Gleeson told us to stop working and be on alert with our weapons. Even then we did not expect trouble. We thought it would be another parley and then they would go away.

Lt. Gleeson walked towards them alone, holding up his right arm in sign of peace. They called out "Jambo" which is an African word meaning "I greet you in peace"

I looked away for just a moment for some reason or other and heard a shout from the lads. Then I saw Lt.Gleeson staggering with an arrow in his shoulder. I heard him yell, "Take cover, lads get behind the trees.

We did just that and withdrew into the trees on each side of the road. Most of the boys took cover on the opposite side of the road that I did - that is really how my life was saved, because the major Baluba attack went that way.

The air was suddenly black with a shower of arrows, and the Buluba let out blood-curdling yells that sounded like a war cry and rushed down the road like madmen, jumping in the air and waving their weapons.

I don't know who give the order to shoot, but we seemed suddenly all to be shooting.

I saw Lt. Gleeson killed. He didn't really get off the road. He fired into the Baluba with his sub-machine gun, covering us, looking quickly back over his shoulder to make sure we had taken cover. Then he turned and ran for the trees himself.

But they overtook him and ran him down. Some had outflanked him and cut off his attempt to get to cover. A lot of them reached him at the same time and they were howling like animals. Our Officer went down under a hail of blows from knives and clubs.

I don't know what I was thinking at the time but I have plenty of time to think since and that sight was the most awful memory of it all. Lt. Gleeson was a wonderful man and we loved him- we all loved him.

From that moment it all became very confused. The fight spread out among the trees. I could not see most of it. But there was a terrible noise, shouts, shooting and screaming.

The Baluba seemed to be everywhere, crushing through the bushes and giving their sort of high pitched battle-cry.

I heard our lads yelling, too. I heard one of them swearing. I remember I recognised his voice and I called out his name.

I heard another Irish voice say! Oh my God! and it ended in a sort of sob.

I saw about 12 Baluba in a hand-to-hand fight with one of our lads, who was using his rifle like a club. I feared to shoot for hitting him. Then I realised he was going to be killed anyway if I did not shoot and I fired two long bursts and saw three Buluba fall.

The rest of the Baluba ran away and I went to the lad who was my friend. He was still alive but could not answer when I spoke to him. He had three arrows in his body and was terribly cut with knives or spear wounds.

I tried gently to pull the arrows out of him but they would not come away because they were barbed. I stayed with him till he died ten minutes later.

I could still hear the Baluba about me but there was no more shooting.

I started to move through the bush, knowing that if they found me they would kill me.

Suddenly there was a crashing to my right. I threw myself on the ground, rolled under a bush so that I was covered.

I heard Baluba voices almost right above me- I think they were so close I could have touched the speakers.

For one terrible moment I waited for the spear-thrust I felt sure must come. But then they moved away. They had not seen me.

I lay there without moving for three hours till it became dark. Ants and other insects crawled over me.

After it was dark I got up and moved towards the road but in such a way that I would miss the scene of the fight. I found the road and moved along it, keeping close to the trees. I felt ice cold and my teeth were chattering although I knew the night was sticky and warm. I wondered if I had malaria or fever, or something.

I walked cautiously with my gun at the ready. The night was pitch black and I could just see the pale blur of the road. I began to tremble violently.

I was jumping at every sound. I began to feel that I was being watched and followed. I stepped on a dry twig, which snapped, and my heart jumped at the sound. Suddenly I heard a distant singing. I came to a native village at the roadside where there was singing and shouting and I saw fires burning. They sounded terribly drunk. I felt certain that it was the people who had attacked us.

For a moment I had a wild impulse to creep up on them and let them have it with every bullet left in my gun. Instead I moved back into the jungle on the opposite side of the road. I was getting terribly exhausted and several times fell over roots and things and collided with tree branches in the dark.

I could hear frightening sounds and rustlings of animals about me, but I was past caring. I stumbled and put my hand on the branch of a tree to steady myself and yelled out aloud in pain and fright. The branch seemed alive with crawling insects. Something had stung my hand.

I staggered a few more yards and sank to the ground. I felt dazed and my thoughts began to wander. I thought of my mother, and the coolness of Ireland, of the rain in the streets of Dublin and how peaceful it was there.

I wished so much that I could get out of this God-forsaken country of filth, sweat and heat and savages. I think I prayed it might be so. I think I dozed or fell into a stupor or something then because suddenly it was getting light.

Pulling myself to my feet I wandered slowly through the jungle again. Suddenly I heard the sound of a truck and heard Irish voices. I shouted and ran towards the lovely sound of it. I fell but got up and kept on going and came out on the road. It was a truck full of some of the boys from Albertville.

I fell into their arms"




10 November 1960- Pte Patrick Davis dies whilst serving with ONUC.



27 November 1960- Patrice Lumumba escapes house arrest and attempts to travel to his supporters stronghold in Stanleyville.



1 December 1960- Lumumba is captured in Kasai by Mobutu’s soldiers and imprisoned in Thysville Barracks.



24 December 1960- Cpl Liam Kelly dies whilst serving with ONUC.



January 1961- Lt Gen Sean McKeown, Chief of Staff of the Irish DF is appointed Force Commander of ONUC. He takes over from Swedish General Carl Von Horn who had commanded since July but who was now in poor health and unable to command.



Round table talks are held in Leopoldville.



17 January 1961- Lumumba is taken to Elisabethville in Katanga where he is publicly beaten and humiliated in front of the press. This is the last time Patrice Lumumba was ever seen in public. Three weeks later it was announced on state radio that he had escaped and been killed by local villagers. A Belgian enquiry in 2001 concluded that he was executed by firing squad commanded by a Belgian officer and his body burnt.



Following Lumumba’s disappearance, the UN Security Council went into overdrive, with the USSR calling for the resignation of the Sec General.



21 February 1961- The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 161, authorising all appropriate measures to prevent civil war in the Congo, including the use of force. ONUC interprets this to justify military operations to end the secession of Katanga.



March 1961- Another conference was held in Madagascar which was boycotted by Gizenga and his Lumumbists. This conference suggested that the Congo be organised into a loose confederation of states, a move opposed by the central government of Kasavubu.



April 1961- Moishe Tshombe was arrested for criticising Kasavubu.



May 1961- A third conference in Eastern Province agreed to form a federal state. This wa srejected by the Katanganese.



June 1961- Tshombe is released after agreeing to re-unite Katanga with the Congo.



2 August 1961- Parliament elects Cyrille Adoula, a Lumumbist as PM. He would serve until June 1964.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:27 am

Thanks Lestat, for continuing my education. I often pass a small memorial to Lt. Gleeson beside the road and now I'll know who he was. I'll have to come back to this when I've a bit more time.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:58 pm

youngdan wrote:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3659963934970649657&q=katanga&ei=oVRqSOPBO4WqrwK8--DJCA&hl=en
Watch and weep
That really was harrowing to watch. Comrade Lumumba the thief versus Tschombe the saintly patriot. What a load of rubbish. At least Tshombe at the end pointed out that he was hated by most of the world; the film-makers couldn't bring themselves to mention this. Dag Hammarskjöld's death wasn't mentioned and Lumumbe died in 'mysterious circumstances', rather than sent to Katanga where he died in very dodgy manner. And the Europeans, those cuddly Belgians and their beloved king. How could anyone not like them?
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:15 pm

24 August 1961- President Kasavubu signs Ordnance No 70, which called for the expulsion of non-Congolese officers and mercenaries not contracted to the central government. PM Adoula requests UN assistance in fulfilling this directive.



28 August 1961- ONUC launches Operation Rumpunch. The operation is planned to capture as many mercenaries as possible in Katanga and to disarm the gendarmerie. The post office, telephone exchange, radio station and gendarme headquarters in Elisabethville are also captured. Whether by chance or because they have been informed of the coming operation the Katanganese have moved troops into position near Elisabethville airport on the night of the 26th August. The airport is guarded by a company of Irish troops who surround the Katanganese on the morning of the 27th and capture them along with two white officers. One of the white men is a Belgian, Major Mathys, one of those men on the UN list to be rounded up 24 hours later. In spite of this the Irish are ordered to release their prisoners. When Rumpunch is launched, Maj Mathys is nowhere to be found.



Rumpunch itself is a combined operation involving Irish, Swedish and Indian troops which captures all of it’s objectives and 273 mercenaries. At Elisabethville’s Gendarmerie HQ, the Irish troops are amused to find one Belgian officer in bed with his Irish girlfriend when they burst in the door. Rumpunch is only partly successful, many mercenaries escaping by claiming to be civilians and the UN troops can’t prove otherwise because of lack of hard intelligence on them. To make matters worse the operation is halted before it is completed because the Belgian Consul undertakes to repatriate all the mercenaries. However he actually only expels the Belgian Army officers. Mnay of the expelled mercenaries later re-enter Katanga through Northern Rhodesia.



30 August 1961- Cpl Luke Kelly dies serving in the Congo.



3 September 1961- ‘A’ Company, 35th Irish Battalion takes over the town of Jadotville from ‘B’ Company and Swedish troops. Their mission is to protect the civilians in the town, who are in fact hostile to the UN. Jadotville is 90 miles from the Irish HQ.



13 September 1961- The UN launches Operation Morthor in another attempt to round up the Katanga mercenaries. In addition, the central government had issued arrest warrants for Moishe Tshombe and several of his officials which the UN troops are authorised to execute. The Katanganese have been forewarned however and the Gendarmes put up some resistance. Tshombe escapes to Northern Rhodesia and Conor Cruise O’Brien, the UN Sec General’s special representative in the Congo causes a diplomatic storm by announcing the Katanga secession is over. The UN of course has no mandate to end the secession. Tpr Edward Gaffney killed.



At 0700 gendarmes in Jadotville attack the Irish troops located near the town. Over the next six days the Irish would be attacked by gendarmerie ground forces and a jet fighter flown by a Belgian mercenary.



14 September 1961- An Irish/Swedish relief column heading for Jadotville is stopped by the gendarmerie defending Lufira bridge, withing sight of the surrounded troops.



15 September 1961- Cpl Michael Nolan and Tpr Patrick Mullins killed.



16 September 1961- Another relief column is beaten back at Lufira bridge, this time coming under attack from the fighter jet. On it’s way back to base the column is ambushed and sustains several casualties.



The Irish Minister for External Affairs arrives in the Congo to investigate reports that over 50 Irish troops are dead at Jadotville.



18 September 1961- UN Secretary General Dag Hammerskjold, in an attempt to medoate the crisis flies to Northern Rhodesia to talk with Tshombe. On the approach to Ndola airport his plane crashes killing him and 15 others on board.



19 September 1961- The Irish troops at Jadotville, out of ammunition, food and water surrender to the Gendarmerie. 5 Irish soldiers have been wounded in the fighting. Gendarmerie casualties are reported to number 150 fatalities. The Irish would remain prisoner until 25th October.



23 September 1961- More UN prisoners from Elisabethville are brought to Jadotville. They express amazement at finding the Irish soldiers alive as they are all believed dead.



11 October 1961- All the Irish prisoners are moved to Kolwezi.



13 October 1961- Mahmoud Khiary who has replaced Hammerskjold as chief negotiator agrees a ceasefire with Tshombe. Prisoners are exchanged and a UN withdrawal from Elsiabethville agreed. Tshombe hails this as a defeat for the UN.



25 October 1961- UN prisoners released in Elisabethville.



24 November 1961- The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 169 which is basically the same as the previous ones calling for the removal of white mercenaries.



5 December 1961- ONUC launches Operation Unokat to reoccupy the positions in Elizabethville that they surrendered in October.



8 December 1961- Cpl Michael Fallon dies.



16 December 1961- Lt Patrick Riordan, Sgt Patrick Mulcahy and Pte Andrew Wickham killed.



18 December 1961- Tshombe agrees to talks with the UN. The negotiations will last for a year.



22 December 1961- Conor Cruise O’Brien arrives back in Ireland having resigned his post in the Congo.



28 December 1961- Cpl John Geoghegan dies.



30 December 1961- Government troops bring the South Kasai secession to an end after 4 months of fighting. Albert Kalonji is arrested.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:34 pm

Too bad more Irish weren't killed. Katanga wanted to secede and were hostile to them. A bit like the Brits in Northern Ireland.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:58 pm

youngdan wrote:
Too bad more Irish weren't killed. Katanga wanted to secede and were hostile to them. A bit like the Brits in Northern Ireland.

Not a bit like the Brits in Northern Ireland. The Belgians who backed the secession and the Belgian mercenaries involved were in that role.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:05 pm

Did the Katangans want to secede or not.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:24 pm

youngdan wrote:
Did the Katangans want to secede or not.

As with the rest of Africa, the Belgian Congo was not a country it was formed as a piece of real estate covering a number of different peoples. In the attempt to answer your question I came across and read this site- pretty good, I think, but still doesn't give a clear answer to your question. In general European involvement set up endless problems by carving the continent up in a random way. I'm in favour of self determination, but haven't found evidence as yet that there was a popular demand for secession in Katanga. Have you?

http://www.applet-magic.com/congo.htm
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:29 pm

youngdan wrote:
Too bad more Irish weren't killed. Katanga wanted to secede and were hostile to them. A bit like the Brits in Northern Ireland.

You should note that the UN mission was not to prevent the secession of Katanga but to remove foreign mercenaries from the Congo. Katanga was and is legally a part of the Congo just as Northern Ireland was and is legally part of the UK.

youngdan wrote:
Did the Katangans want to secede or not.

Presumably those who were getting money from the Union Miniere and that ilk did. No doubt the joe soaps didn't know nor care what secession was.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:35 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Thanks Lestat, for continuing my education. I often pass a small memorial to Lt. Gleeson beside the road and now I'll know who he was. I'll have to come back to this when I've a bit more time.

Is this it?

http://www.irishwarmemorials.ie/html/showMemorial.php?show=139
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:36 pm

Lestat wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Thanks Lestat, for continuing my education. I often pass a small memorial to Lt. Gleeson beside the road and now I'll know who he was. I'll have to come back to this when I've a bit more time.

Is this it?

[url=http://www.irishwarmemorials.ie/html/showMemorial.php?show=139
http://www.irishwarmemorials.ie/html/showMemorial.php?show=139[/quote[/url]]

Yes, that's it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:52 am

Why would they not want to secede. Were they not a different people altogether. The only reason Congo existed was because of the Belgians. The Irish were just like the Brits forcing them to be Unionists as far as I am concerned
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:05 am

14 January 1962- Congolese troops capture Stanleyville and end the year long secession of Eastern Province. Antoine Gizenga is arrested and imprisoned until July 1964 and again from October 1964 to November 1965. He is exiled from 1965 to 1992. He is currently PM of the DRC.



7 March 1962- Cpl John Power dies.



27 March 1962- Lt-Gen Sean McKeown stands down as Force Commander after 15 months. He was succeeded by Lt Gen Kebade Gebre of the Ethiopian Army.



9 May 1962- Capt Ronald McCann dies in Congo.





August 1962- UN Secretary General U Thant proposes that Katanga become an autonomous region in a federal state. Tshombe initially agrees with the proposal but never follows through.



December 1962- UN forces led by Maj Gen Dewan Prem Chand of the Indian Army launch Operation Grand Slam to end the secession of Katanga.



January 1963- Elisabethville falls to UN troops and the Katanga secession is over. Moishe Tshombe goes into exile.



21 March 1963- Cpl John McGrath dies.



28 Sept 1963- Comdt Thomas McMahon becomes the last Irish soldier to die in the Congo.



January 1964- Three ex-members of Gizenga’s Parti Solidaire Africaine led a rebellion in Kivu and Eastern Provinces that became known as the Simba Rebellion. The three were Pierre Mulele, Gaston Soumialot and Christophe Gbenye. By August they controlled Stanleyville and formed a government. The rebellion included the mass executions of thousands of pro-government Congolese.



June 1964- ONUC withdraws from Congo. 6,000 Irish soldiers served there, suffering 26 fatalities.



July 1964- Moishe Tshombe is recalled from exile in Spain and appointed PM replacing Cyrille Adoula. Tshombe is ordered by President Kasavubu to put down the revolt in the Eastern Provinces. He immediately begins recruiting his old gendarmerie and re-employing white mercenaries.



August 1964- The Simba rebellion is facing defeat. They take hundreds of white hostages and hold them in the Victoria Hotel in Stanleyville.

Tshombe appeals to the US and Belgium for assistance.



24 November 1964- In Operation Dragon Rouge 550 Belgian paratroopers led by Col Charles Laurent were dropped onto Stanleyville airfield from US aircraft. They clear the airfield and the route into the town and evacuate 1800 European and American hostages as well as 400 Congolese. 80 hostages are killed. Mulele flees to neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville.



25 November 1965- With CIA assistance Joseph Desiré Mobutu overthrows President Kasavubu. Tshombe is exiled to Spain and Mobutu sets up a one party totalitarian regime that lasts until his death in 1997.



July 1966- Amid rumours of the return of Moishe Tshombe his former gendarmerie and mercenaries rebel in Kisangani (formerly Stanleyville) This is the First Kisangani Mutiny. The mutiny is crushed.



July 1967- Second Kisangani Mutiny is triggered by the news that Tshombe's airplane has been hijacked over the Mediterranean and forced to land in Algiers, where he is held prisoner. The mutiny is led by a Belgian named Jean Schramme. He and 1100 Katanganese hold out until November when they escape to Rwanda.



1968- Pierre Mulele is lured back to the Congo with the promise of a pardon. As soon as he is back in the country he is arrested, publicly tortured and executed: his eyes are pulled from their sockets, his genitals ripped off and his limbs amputated one by one, all while he is alive. What is left is dumped in a river.



29 June 1969- Moishe Tshombe dies in Algeria. His plane really was hijacked in June 1967 and he is held captive in Algeria until his death.



Cyrille Adoula served as Ambassador to Belgium and to the US then as Foreign Minister from 1969 to 1970 when he retired from politics. He died in Switzerland in 1978.



Mobutu’s regime with the help of the US, Belgium and France lasted for 30 years during which he raped the country’s wealth to the tune of $5 billion. He was deposed by Laurent Kabila in May 1997 at the end of the First Congo War which killed approximately 200,000 people. Mobutu Sese Soku died in Morocco in September 1997. The Second Congo War lasted from 1998 and ended officially in 2003, killing an estimated 5.5 million people. Sporadic fighting continues in the east of the country.



Laurent Kabila was assassinated in Kinshasa in January 2001 and was succeeded by his son Joseph Kabila Kabange. 25 of the ringleaders of the assassination were sentenced to death in 2003. 64 others were jailed.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:21 am

youngdan wrote:
Why would they not want to secede. Were they not a different people altogether. The only reason Congo existed was because of the Belgians. The Irish were just like the Brits forcing them to be Unionists as far as I am concerned
And the only reason Katanga existed as a sovereign state was because of the Belgians. No country, not even Belgium, recognised Katanga. It was generally seen as a puppet state ste up by Belgian business interests.

I don't understand your northern Irish reference.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:29 am

Did the Katangan people want their own country or not.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:38 am

I want my own country, but without a scrap of international support I'm unlikely to get it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:48 am

I take it that you are admitting the obvious. Katanga is 16 times as large as Belgium. Those dumbarse Irish soldiers killing people who wanted independence. They were worse than the Brits because at least some Unionists want to stay in the UK.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:58 am

A majority of the Northern Irish population wanted to stay in the Union, just as most Congolese wanted Katanga to stay in the Congo. The BaLuba people didn't want to be a part of Katanga, what about their choices? Neither Katanga nor the Tshombe had any credibility abroad, that's what's obvious.
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PostSubject: Re: The Congo Crisis - What's Going on in the Congo ?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:34 am

That is like saying a lot of the British people saying that they wanted the north to remain part of Britain. What the British or Congolese want is immaterial. The future of northern Ireland is for the people of NI to decide and the future of Katanga was for the people of Katanga to decide. It is called self determination. This report has the central government killing thousands of baluba and my understanding is that they were divided http://www.congostamps.com/katanga/KATANGA%201960.htm Why could not the baluba go where they wanted as they are a separate tribe.
The whole thing was a fight for the minerals. Same as always.
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